A personal injury case is brought about when a Floridian suffers bodily harm due to the negligence of another person or persons. The state’s statutes of limitations – state-mandated deadlines for filing personal injury lawsuits – are shorter than many other states, making a timely filing critical to your chances of success. Florida’s statutes of limitations for personal injury cases vary depending on the nature of the accident or injury.
Car accident cases
In Florida, all motorists are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance in a specific amount to cover such claims. If the cost of medical bills and property damage caused by an accident is greater than the sum of money offered by the insurance company, the injured party can seek damages. The statute of limitations is two years from the date of the car accident, giving you a limited amount of time to consult with an attorney specializing in personal injury cases.
More evidence? Stronger case.
Knowing the statutes of limitations that apply to your specific case allow your lawyer enough time to build a case against the defendant. Examples of helpful evidence that should be gathered well in advance include:
- photos of the vehicles and the scene after an accident;
- witness accounts of what happened;
- medical records pertaining to the injuries sustained;
- expert advice on how the accident occurred.
Medical malpractice and wrongful death
Medical malpractice – a type of personal injury case – can stem from a doctor’s error which brings about excessive pain and suffering. Should a patient die due to the careless actions of a physician, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed. Such a lawsuit typically seeks to prove that the medical professional’s negligence caused the death of a patient. Florida’s statutes of limitations for filing medical malpractice cases are two years from the date of the injury (or the date the injury was discovered). The statute of limitations for wrongful death is two years from the date of death. Case-by-case exceptions can be made, but a timely filing is strongly encouraged, as it becomes increasingly difficult to prove that negligence occurred as time passes.
By seeking the assistance of a personal injury lawyer in Florida, you’ll ensure that the evidence you collect is the right type of documentation for your case. By laying the foundation with solid documentation, the attorney can build on it as he or she researches the accident and interviews witnesses.